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Your DIY mani just got an upgrade.
ICYMI, nail options have come a long way in recent years. No longer are we reserved only to easily chipped polish, potentially damaging full acrylic sets, gel extensions, or UV-set gel manicures (though we’re not saying we don’t love those options, too!). There’s an overlooked nail manicure trend in town, and it’s definitely here to stay: Dip powder manicures.
Dip powder manicures are longer-lasting than their gel counterparts (they can typically last up to one month), and they also don’t require any UV light to harden. This method follows the same steps as a standard gel manicure—cut, clean, buff/smooth, primer, etc. The real fun lies within the "dipping process." After your nail is properly prepped, each nail is dipped into a powder color of your choosing (one by one), tapped to dust off any excess powder, and then sealed with a topcoat. They also yield similar, even-coated results as acrylic manicures. You can rest easy knowing your nails won't be damaged after soaking off since there is no harsh UV light or fake nail tips involved—dip powder manis are also said to be less damaging to your nails in the long term. If you want to test-drive the nail trend on your own, we've rounded up the best user-friendly dip powder kits that deliver pro-level results from the comfort of your humble abode. Below are the 13 best dip powder kits to add to cart.
If you're a longtime fan of the viral TikTok OPI Bubble Bath gel polish, meet its dip powder equivalent. Get the same benefits of gel polish—longwear, chip-free, polished finish, etc.—for the same cost as a salon manicure.
Nail pros will tell you: Kiara Sky is one of the nail world's creme de la creme brands. While it's a bit pricey, invest in this dip kit, knowing it will last you a long time, which saves you money in the long run.
So you like to match your nails to your mood? This Amazon best-seller comes equipped with muted, deep shades that evoke all the autumn feels even though summer is fast approaching. The kit has everything you need to perfect your mani, from brushes to an assortment of powder colors to choose from.
For a kit that screams summer, this set has enough colors to pair with your bright summer swimsuits and neutral-toned winter wardrobe.
This salon-quality set comes with basics like top and base coats, clear powder, three color powders, and a nourishing vitamin oil to keep your nails healthy and strong.
Most kits come with a set of colors, but Rossi gives you the option to choose with its Build Your Own Kit. Select from various colors and finishes, including soft neutrals and glam glitters.
Vegan, cruelty-free, and non-toxic, Nailboo's nail kit has everything you need for a quick and professional-looking mani.
Thanks to this vitamin E and calcium-enriched formula, your nails will retain their strength and durability.
This Amazon pick is beloved for its long-lasting formula, with up to two weeks of no-chipping.
If you're feeling a bit intimidated by this expansive kit, have no fear. Double Dip has detailed YouTube tutorials with step-by-step instructions for the perfect at-home manicure.
Dipwell makes a dip powder kit for every occasion and color combination—including pastels, French tips, classic colors, glitter, and even neon hues. The polish and powder formulas don’t include any harsh chemicals, are low odor, and contain calcium to help fortify and strengthen your nails.
This no-fuss dip color starter kit includes all the basic tools you’ll need to get the job done, plus one pale pink powder. Reviewers particularly love how easy it is to use—even for beginners—and how long the color stays on.
If you’re a glitter kind of gal—and really, who isn’t—then look no further. This dip powder nail kit includes 12 bright and bold glittery hues, a nail file, a buff brush, and a reusable tray for the powders.
Nerisha Penrose, ELLE.com Beauty Commerce Editor
How do you give yourself a dip powder manicure at home?
This is how the at-home process typically works. First, you’ll want to apply a base coat onto clean, freshly buffed nails (this helps to smooth out any ridges so that the powder can coat the nail evenly). Next, instead of painting the nail color on with a brush, as with a traditional or gel manicure, you’ll dip your nail into a pot of pigmented powder. Then, tap or brush off any excess powder (many kits include a buff brush) and repeat the process one more time to ensure an even coat. After two go-rounds of dipping, you’ll paint on a clear activator polish. This activator turns the colored powder into a glossy lacquer and essentially bonds it onto the nail itself. Once that’s dry, you’ll apply a clear coat of polish as a topcoat, and voila! Your DIY dip powder manicure is done, and it should last at least a few weeks (or more). Of course, these are general guidelines—always follow the instructions of the specific kit you’re using, as each one may differ slightly.
How do you remove dip powder manicures?
Again, you’ll want to refer to the instructions included in whichever kit you’ve purchased. However, dip powder manicures generally always have to be soaked off with acetone—do not, under any circumstances, try to peel or pick off the color. Doing so will rip off the top layer of your actual nail. Ouch! Instead, your best bet is to wrap each nail in an acetone-soaked cotton ball (or round) or dip it into a small bowl of acetone for at least ten minutes. The bond between the lacquer and the nail must be dissolved for the dip powder color to be removed. The best part is, though this soaking process may seem tedious, once the color is dissolved, it should wipe off easily and cleanly (no scraping required).
Can you remove it with clippers?
Invest in some nail polish remover clips to make the process easier (and less messy). While many manicurists will admit that, ideally, you should leave dip powder manicures (and their subsequent removal) to the professionals, monthly trips to the nail salon can get expensive. More and more companies are offering affordable at-home powder nail kits for novices and experts alike.